LOS ANGELES — Vince Carter will return to the Atlanta Hawks on a one-year contract for what would an NBA record 22nd season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday.
The 42-year-old Carter, a free agent this summer, has said this season will be his last, ending a memorable career that includes the 1998-99 NBA Rookie of the Year award and eight All-Star Game appearances.
“I got one more run in me,” he told ESPN last month.
Carter’s final run would break the record for most NBA seasons. The other players with 21 seasons in the NBA include Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, if Carter plays in a game in 2020, he would become the first player in league history to appear in a game in four different decades.
Carter joined the Hawks — his eighth NBA team — before last season, helping to mentor a young roster that includes Trae Young and John Collins. He scored 7.4 points per game in 76 contests with the Hawks while playing on a one-year, $2.4 million contract. He started nine games.
Carter, whose acrobatic dunks helped earn him the nickname “Vinsanity,” has averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his career, which began with the Toronto Raptors. He also has played for the New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.
He was the 2000 winner of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA later that summer, cementing his high-flying status with a one-handed slam in which he jumped over 7-foot-2 center French center Frederic Weis.
At 41 years and 264 days old, Carter was the second oldest player to start a season opener after Parish (42 years, 65 days). Carter would break Parish’s record if he started the 2019 season opener for the Hawks.
Carter has the fifth-most games played in NBA history at 1,481, is sixth in 3-point field goals made at 2,229, and 20th all-time in scoring at 25,430 points. — Reuters